I've not heard stories of Christian missionaries wiping out tribes with disease, though I've not looked for them. I'm aware colonisation did have a big impact on native populations though.
On the other hand, I've heard many stories of Christian missionaries helping tribes, not just witnessing to them, but bridging warring tribes, providing modern medicines, even electricity and helping them gain land rights to their occupied land when the government of the encroaching outer world wouldn't really care. Jim Elliot and the End of the Spear for example. The book was best, sheds much better light and more details than the movie. The movie was still good, but really a quick and brief covering. You want to know what goes on inside the head of a missionary who's willing to risk their life, pick up a copy of the book
-- I couldn't put the book down when I read it. Good story, not preachy.
As for people ridoculing this particular guy. Well, I'm sure being speared was a possibility he considered but he considered it worthwhile giving his life to Christ nonetheless. I imagine that he researched this tribe and understood some back history to them. I heard via Rogan (don't know if best authority
), that some perverted guy visited the island some 100 years ago to measure genitalia and the like. Also that a ship was wrecked on the island, with the sailors having to be evacced. The tribe's people have since made use of the metals found on the ship. I never really heard about the place before a week ago, but it seems these people have come into contact sparingly on multiple occasions with outside world.
As for this man, having his dead body dragged around I'm sure could possibly bring disease. Or perhaps contact with the outside world like this, allows them to progressively develop immunities.
I've heard several non-Christians, like Rogan, and other reports, basically called him a stupid fool. One reason being that didn't he know it was dangerous? Another reason being that it is treasonous to many secular folk to talk to others about one's own beliefs in God. Proselytising is considered by many as bigoted and immoral. You've got to understand Ed, many Christians do take their beliefs seriously as truth, truth above all truths, and really do wholeheartedly believe the world is lost in sin. It is believed a lot of the pain and suffering just wouldn't be had if humanity didn't resist and rebel agaist God so much.
On the back of that, many feel a strong desire in their heart to announce good news that Christ brought about God and us. Whether you think it true or not, such beliefs and hope has done wonders to the lives of people. To let people who will listen know that God doesn't desire to judge and condemn us, but God is a merciful God who wants to forgive and love us (John 3:17) -- such a message is far from bigoted or evil imo. Yet, God is both righteous and loving, so there is a problem that needs resoliving given our wickedness, and this problem Christ said was resolved through Him.
I understand this message is nonsense to many, and perhaps even comedic that a person would want to share it with others who haven't received it, let alone die over it. Yet, I don't see this guy as necessarily foolish, but rather more loving than most in the world that he would risk his life to share such a message with people who'd kill him. Not to rattle the cage of some here, but I find this especially refreshing in light of the many Christian folk in America who would readily pick up a gun and shoot an intruder.
As to whether or not they would have gotten diseased despite previously having contact numerous times with the outside world, and despite now dragging around a dead body. Non-Christian commentators who just think it all foolishness are really overplaying this I think, surely a dead body is still contageous? OR, if killing him somehow made a difference, like Rogan and certain news articles claim, then perhaps this John Chau fellow believed God would protect the people from such. The irony is, such a belief was vindicated since God allowed his man to be killed to save the tribe (if that be true).